Posts Tagged "spam"

Here’s a question to which we kinda already know the answer:

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I was asked this when I unsubscribed for an Intuit mailing list I hadn’t signed up for. I did start using QuickBooks online, which I’m mostly liking (despite my insane problems with their payroll service and cancelling it… including having to cancel payroll when I hadn’t signed up for it). But I certainly wouldn’t have opted into any mailing list. Nothing QB wants to tell me is worth an email.

The email was some big scary thing warning me that my Quickbooks needs a tune up. You mean you created a product that doesn’t just keep getting better? I have to stop, call you, and “tune it up”? Or are you just trying to get me to call so you can sell me something?

The whole thing seemed really dirty and not genuine. Thing 1, crappy marketing. Thing 2, I didn’t want your emails.

OK, but how do you FEEL about receiving emails when you didn’t sign up to get emails?

Thanks for asking. Not sure what marketing person insisted that you ask people that, especially once they’re unsubscribing. We can pretty much guess what the UNSUBSCRIBING people think.

What do the people who stay on the mailing list think? Are they just deleting it? Are they happy to get these?

“I am so glad that company I bought from put me on their email mailing list without my opt-in permission to do so,” said no-one ever.

There you go, Quickbooks marketing department. I just saved you a lot of time in running and analysing a survey. Plus all the meetings you’ll then hold about the survey and what to do next.

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I apologise that it accidentally looks like “pick on one company in particular” week, but this was too interesting to not mention.

This was in my LinkedIn news feed Sunday (2 days ago) after lunch. I was being fed it because one of my LinkedIn connections commented on it.

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The guy I know posted a rather negative comment. I didn’t feel like I saw a lot of negative, unhappy commenting around LinkedIn, so I decided to read all 69 comments on the ad. Here are some with names blurred.

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I didn’t cut and paste those together. That’s 6 unhappy comments in a row. And more interestingly, look at the dates of when they were left. 6 months ago. 5 months ago. But there are newer unhappy comments as well.

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That’s always a great UX question.

Why DO you need all my contact details to show me a demo video? Well, the answer is that someone in the business or sales department decided it was better to “force” people into a lead funnel than to showcase their product without strings attached.

That is often misguided. People don’t want to give you their information. You might end up with fake information, which doesn’t accomplish your business goal. Or you might lose people who don’t feel like jumping into the lead funnel before they’ve even seen the product or its price.

Other comments under this LinkedIn ad suggested other competitors who had lower pricing. I would think that if I had less expensive competitors but I’m sure that my product is better and “worth it,” a marketing decision might be made to drain the moat and let people see what I’d hope is a super-compelling demo video.

It’s time to take that LinkedIn ad down.

After what looks like more than 6 months of running this ad over and over to the same people, it’s time to take it down. In general, that’s too much repetition of the same ad. More importantly, your ad now goes out with 69 comments, most of which are negative about your product and company. Some suggest competitors. That’s probably NOT the advertising experience you were hoping for.

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This happened. How? Why? Which part of “unsubscribe me” makes it sound like I want to be on this list for 10 more days?

How is it that your email system doesn’t email who’s on your list when it’s time to send? Does that mean your email list is sending to people who opted out and NOT sending to people who recently joined?

Does it take ten days to get on the list? I don’t know. I didn’t sign up for this list. I was being spammed. But I bet it doesn’t take 10 days to join the list.

Unsubscribes should be immediate. And you should never put someone on a mailing list unless they opted into YOUR list. Buying a list off a friend doesn’t mean those people want to hear from you. They might not even want to hear from your friend.

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Personal Cover Letters Are Important

Posted By on Sep 13, 2013

I believe in personal cover letters. When I look at a job or contract, I write a cover letter that best describes me based on the job, company, etc… I don’t copy/paste the same thing to everybody. I address people by name where I know their names.

I also keep a Zoho database of the recruiters who have been nice to me. Not all got me jobs. Some were just really nice! Anybody who sucked didn’t make the list. I keep that list carefully so that only recruiters I liked are on it. In many cases, I ask first if I can add them to a list to hear when I’m available.

So it was a big surprise to get an email today from a guy I’ve never heard of. This was the entirety of his email (other than his signature directing me to his site), plus his resume was an attachment I didn’t open. Name and certain details removed to protect his anonymity, though since he’s job-seeking, he might like the publicity!

[Name] has over 18 years of experience in business strategy, interactive product design, user-centered design methodologies, and software development. His extensive product management and engineering expertise enables him to balance user needs with business goals and engineering constraints in a way that sets him apart from other designers. His success stems from his ability to understand and bridge complex user needs, business goals, and technical constraints.

He has designed and developed products used by some of the leading companies in the world ([Famous Company], [Famous Company], [Famous Company]), innovative and agile start-ups ([Unknown Company], [Unknown Company]), and industry-leading design agencies ([Agency], [Agency], [Agency], [Agency I’ve heard of], [Agency]). His products have been used by [Famous Company], [Famous Company], [Famous Company], [Famous Company], [Famous Company], [Famous Company], [Famous Company], [Famous Company], [Famous Company], and [Famous Company]. In 2004, he designed the world’s first mobile social network and launched it at [Famous Tech Conference], the world’s preeminent technology launch conference. The resulting press referred to it as “the darling of [Famous Tech Conference]” and coined a new term, “MoSoNo” (mobile social network). His design and account leadership resulted in one of the early successful location-based service applications, [Company I’ve never heard of], which was in the top five most downloaded applications on its cellular carrier’s deck. In October 2011, his latest product release received the [Award name] of the Year award at the 98th [Conference Name] Conference. He has a B.A. in Architectural Design from UC Berkeley.

That was it. No hello. No, “Hi, Deb.” No, “Deb, I met you at [thing] and thought you might be hiring.” Just this totally spamming, unfriendly, non-human blast.

Of course, I had to write back and ask WTF. His response was that he was emailing hiring managers he’s worked with in the past, and I was somehow on that list.

Thing 1, I don’t buy that. Thing 2, you’re that self-proclaimed awesome and you have to spam people to find a job? I have a much smaller resume, and I have no problem finding a job.

Here’s what I think really happened. I think he stumbled on this site. I think he didn’t read it very well… not much further than it’s some sort of UX consultancy. I think he went straight for the Contact Us page, and grabbed my email address.

I think he didn’t notice that we’re not hiring. No jobs page. Nothing on the contact us page about how to get in touch if you want a job.

Personal Cover Letters Are Important

Do we know each other? How? Do we share contacts in common? Did you see an open job on my website? (You shouldn’t have… I’m not hiring!)

When I email my database of recruiters, I give them the information they need most. My latest resume. Where I live and how far I’m willing to commute. What types of jobs fit me well, what types of jobs will never be right for me. What companies I refuse to work for. And since it’s an email to people who know me and not a public broadcast of any sort, what I tend to get paid per hour. I send it as bullet points with blank lines in between.

Recruiters normally get that and have NO questions since I’ve answered them all. They just start throwing job ideas at me. Efficiency!

Even looking again at this guy’s cover letter, it’s so all over the place. I have no idea what he really wants, what job he feels will fit him best, where he’ll commute to.

Personal cover letters AND not spamming people are important. And I asked this guy to make sure no email addresses at my domain are on any of his mailing lists. I didn’t hear back. Good luck, job seeker.

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I don’t even know where to start with this one. A company I’ve never heard of sends me an email. It starts with “first of all” and some sort of pleasantry about their deepest sympathies going out to the people affected by the Oklahoma tornadoes. Um OK, who are you?

And then it goes RIGHT into “thank you for the great responses.” To what? You’re spamming me. I have no idea what you do or who is responding to what.

And then right into “we have special packages for you.” They evidently claim to do something with social media. Well, they sure are showing their chops by spamming me and pretending to care about OK natural disaster victims!

And 10% of turnover (wha?) goes to charities I choose! I don’t know you. But I get to choose where you give 10% of some sort of pile of money? How?

And then into Free iPads. What?

I am not on enough drugs to make sense of this email. I figured you needed to see the whole thing. So here’s a screen shot and then a PDF (linked from the image below). This is what happens when you don’t walk the walk but do a lot of talking. I’m looking at you Social Media Tyme. Guess they didn’t want to pay for, which is for sale.


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Just a few days ago, I wrote about one of the many scams you can encounter on Facebook. This is one where people want to be your friend, and then one outcome is they might use this information to send more realistic looking spam or phishing emails. They now come from someone you know rather than Rufux Xavier Sasparilla, so you might be more likely to open them, click on links, or open attachments.

Not a few days later did this come through my email:

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It’s to me. And it appears to be from a real life friend who’s also a Facebook friend. Not sure where they got this email address since I didn’t think I had it on Facebook. But who knows.

However, this was pretty clearly not from my friend, Tyrone. He’s an American in America, and unlikely to have a address. And he’s never emailed me. And he’d be really unlikely to email me a link with a .nl domain. And I don’t think he has an iPhone. 🙂

So that covers that. But that’s only because I was paying attention. Someone else might have been thrilled to see an email from Tyrone, and just clicked on it.

Again, people, be careful of the pages you LIKE and the people you friend. They can use the Facebook graph to get info you can’t imagine, and then use it in ways you didn’t imagine.

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Angry Spam Email Is Hilarious

Posted By on Nov 5, 2012

Categories: Marketing

Tags: email, spam

Spam emails. Most of them are easily forgotten. I got one recently that was SO oddly worded and so angry, I had to share it with you for the laugh.

I blurred out the website name they linked. It’s one of those “Everyone can achieve financial freedom!” scam sites. Something to do with binary options, which is evidently some high risk investment crazy game. I blurred out the person’s last name since that’s probably not really the name of who wrote me anyway.

You may need to read it a few times to get the full effect. Enjoy! And click to enlarge.

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Spammed on Twitter By a Human

Posted By on Sep 8, 2012

I’m used to spambots on Twitter. Ignore. or Ignore and report as a spammer. But a whole new type of spammer got me this past weekend. A human. A real live person.

It started when some guy tweeted my web design company seeming to be interested in us doing a lot of manual work on images. At least that’s how I took it. We’re rarely asked to do that kind of work, and on those rare occasions when we are, we’re just not cost effective due to our hourly rate. So while this guy is asking me about it, I’m gently trying to push him towards using software for batch image work rather than paying us hourly.

And then all of a sudden, he tells me I should outsource that work to him. Whaaaaa? So you weren’t looking to hire ME?

Lesson learned: ask up front if someone is interested in hiring us for that service. Could have saved myself a lot of tweeting if he had revealed in tweet #2 that he was soliciting me.

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Some people seem to think that it’s OK to advertise products (over and over) to your Facebook friends. NOT dropping promotional messages on a business page, where people might expect them. For all we know, this was between a cat picture and a post about politics. This was on a personal page. I’ll post the screen shot and then explain what you’re looking at.

A woman named Lisa tagged a bunch of people in a photo of a sneaker. Someone I’m friends with (blurred) was tagged. Clearly, he’s not in that photo. Lisa evidently tagged lots of other people! She then commented on her own photo once again giving people the URL for where she sells these things.

Her friends had a few things to say about that. They called her a spammer. One said he would unfriend her. Good, I hope he does.

This is a reminder that people on Facebook don’t want to be advertised to by their own friends. That’s because Facebook is a night out at a bar. It’s the water cooler. It’s the hangout. It’s not where people want to be pushed to buy something. That’s not the mood they’re typically in or the usage path they’re often on.

Solution: Well, for now, separate biz and personal. Make sure you are only pushing products and promos to a group who opted in to get that. Anybody who is your Facebook friend has opted into a personal relationship with you. Don’t take advantage of that by spamming.

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